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17:00 30th January 2016

Braintree 2 Chester 0

Two first half goals from set pieces proved to be Chester’s undoing down South, as Braintree earned all three points.

Corners from Dan Sparkes proved the difference, allowing Phillips and Paine to help themselves to a goal apiece on a sunny afternoon at Cressing Road.

As far as first half’s go, it was a tough one for the Blues to take in Essex.

Following a cagey opening ten, the hosts took the lead through Mark Phillips – poking home Sparkes’ corner.

Chester really struggled to get going, Fry blocking a Craig Mahon effort moments later.

But there was some signs of life for the Blues, Jordan Chapell stinging the palms of Crowe in the home net.

Nevertheless, Steve Burr’s side were caught out by another set piece minutes later to double Braintree’s lead.

Sparkes put in another dangerous corner which was not cleared properly – allowing Matt Paine to smash home.

The Blues would have to dig deep to get something out of the game – but struggled to create clear cut chances in the second half.

Johnny Hunt’s centre was just out of the reach of Ross Hannah moments after the break.

John Rooney then caused problems with a corner, Ryan Astles’ shot was well blocked before Luke George looped a header over the crossbar.

Hannah was then denied by Crowe from six yards out with a header.

Then, on 71 minutes, the Blues should have been back in the game – as Jason Gilchrist found Hunt, but his low drive was superbly stopped by the Iron goalkeeper.

Braintree’s third sub of the afternoon almost found a third goal with ten minutes left – but Taylor Miles fired over from Clerima’s pass - as the Blues failed to conjure up a late comeback.

Braintree: Crowe, Clerima, Phillips, Fry, Habergham, Paine, Davis (Isaac 67), Sparkes (Miles 75), Woodyard, Akinola, Marks (Cheek 63).
Subs Not Used: Edgar, Anderson.
Chester: Worsnop, Higgins, Heneghan, Astles, Hunt, Mahon (Hughes 56), George, Rooney, Chapell (Gilchrist 46), Alabi (Shaw 74), Hannah.
Subs Not Used: Sharps, Thompson.
Scorers: Phillips 11, Paine 35.
Referee: Nigel Lugg.
Attendance: 727.


    Did you know that Chester FC celebrate 130 years of history in 2015?